Research Help

Decisions, decisions, decisions. What to do next? I am thinking it should be to install LED lights. I want small, flat ones to install on the under side of the shelves over the bed. They would be excellent to aluminate a reading area while relaxing in bed/couch. Also, in the same area put a
hot spot” so I can charge my cell phone over night and perhaps a heater or a fan. I have yet to find small flat LED lights. If you know of any let me know, please.

More later. Grand Maverick

Parade of Lights

Janet and I went to the Parade of Lights which is a local annual event in these parts. The requirements of 1) the entry must be mobile, 2) must have lights on it and 3) must have music (even if it is just the car radio).

We saw:
1) foot traffic
A: several persons with lighted hats,
B: four school bands with strings of lights around their instruments. They played Christmas music.
C: seven or so horses with lights around their necks

2: two wheel vehicles.
A: two bicycles with bells and lights
B: about six motorcycles with both single & double riders white lights.

3. four & six wheeled vehicles
A: cars – new, in-between and antique with colored lights. One was built on a lawn mower.
B: cab of 18 wheeler with colored lights and a loud horn
C: Police cars with blue lights on high beam and sirens full blast. City cops, Sheriff and State Patrol.
D: animal Shelter float with many dog pictures and “Who Let the Dogs Out”.

4. more wheeled
A.: cement mixer truck with music and colored lights
B: pick-up pulling a trailer filled with kids and some adults. Each had about 18 strings of lights. They had a theme based on the manger scene.
C: Many business with multiple lights with signs about their businesses.
D: several semis with music and lights on the front.
E: extra tall and long trucks from Snap-On Tool. There were five of them with lights inside and out. They were at least 8 foot or more tall and extra long.
F: Two fire trucks with red regular lights blinking and sirens blaring. Also, some white Christmas lights.

and last, but certainly not least, Santa aboard the ladder truck from the fire department. Christmas lights ran up the ladder with Santa slightly lighted at the top.

The whole parade took about one hour to pass the excellent viewing advantage place we had planted ourselves at about one hour before the parade began.
Someone estimated that there were about 3,000 just around the county court-house square not counting the four block area at the beginning point (Spring Park) and up Race Street 10 or so blocks after ending at the BerryHill Park.

More later: Grand MAverick

Late November – Early December trip

The trip to north central Alabama was certainly different First, the car in front on me on I-240 in southern Memphis was trying to carry something on the top of their car. It was not secured very well so I was slowing down to put some distance between us when, sure enough, it became air-borne. If my vehicle had been about six inches shorter it would have cleared the top of the van. Instead, it cracked the windshield where the windsheld and shell come together. The information that the other driver gave to me has proven incorrect. Lucky, I am covered for such drivers with $100 deductible. The cost of repairs is estimated to be just short of $3,000. The new windshield, dents and paint will take a week and two days. That should fit into my schedule before another trip (weather permitting).

On the return from Huntsville, Al I had the adventure of driving on I-240 in southern Memphis after sunset. Not only that, but two lanes on the left were closed. Numerous vehicles decided not to merge until the last moment. This caused all the lanes of traffic to go about 3 mph up to 10 mph. Therefore, I arrived back at my southern home address in Arkansas about 9:15pm instead of 7pm. It should have been about a 6 hour trip. The vehicle and I were in one piece which is good..

Thanksgiving with grand-daughters and their mother was a great time. The oldest grand-daughter was hostess for the first time in her life. She was consulting her mother and I on how to cook this and that. I promised to show her how to make gravy at a future date.

More later; Grand Maverick

The Bird Clock

Several years ago my daughter-in-law gave me a Bird Clock. On the hour a different bird call is sounded. Four o’clock it is the Red-Headed woodpecker. This clock has been on my wall in several of the places where I have lived. Now, it is mounted on the left rear door, inside of course. I sculped an extra screw hole on the lower back side of the caseing so that the clock would not bump up and down. The screws are holding it tight against the ply wood that is on the door. Iput anotheer screw just above the outside casing sow that the entire clock could not jump up off the other sdrews.The color matches and looks great. A plus to the situation is that when one is catching a few rays outside and the door is open wide, one can still have the time close at hand.

The holiday is close at had so you may not hear from me for several says. More Later. Grand Maverick

p.s. The decal(s) are mounted on the rear “hips”. We all, in unison, said, “AWESOME”.

Winter has arrived

The temp has risen a bit even though it is officially winter. Yesterday we “hung” the butterfly pictures on the wall. What we did was drill very small holes in the corners of outer most frame and put in very small screws. The actual dates I quoted recently are not correct. Evidently the butterflies were collected in 1835 and 1836. They make the room look like a home. Now, I want to find two mirrors that about the same configuration. That should complete the decoration of the living/dining/bed room, at least until I dream up some more ideas.

More later. Grand Maverick

What’s Next

The cold weather is slowing the work down. I figure that, however, I can mount the pictures of butterflies in the living room. These butterflies (or so it says) were caught and mounted in 1855 & 1856. The frames seem to match that age. The pics are about 8 inches wide and 18 inches tall. Instead of putting them across from one another, I am putting one to the front on one side of the room and the other to the rear of that wall. With mirrors covering most of the remaining wall while sitting on the couch I can see both pictures and enjoy all the butterflies.

The round bird clock goes on the inside of the left back door. Every hour, on the hour, a different bird sounds off. Once you learn the calls of each bird you will know what time it is. This was a gift from my daughter-in-law. I am looking for a thermometer with a barometer to go on the inside of the other back door.

This should keep me busy for today. More later. Grand Maverick

house building vs. van building

Most carpenters who build a house use a plumb line and a level which work very nicely. The walls and floors are formed very easily. Do not expect this from a van. The walls are not plumb anywhere in the vehicle. The sides are bowed out, the ceiling is not even from side to side. The floor level depends on where the vehicle is parked. This yard is definitely a sloping one both front to back and side to side. All of this info made for interesting shelf construction. We put little shims under the braces for the shelves which brought them up to level. In the process I lost about an inch in shelf space but it looks great NOW. My carving friend has contacted to carve the spindles of the shelves. She just sold one of her canes for $100.00. One spindle will be oriental and another tropical as I have traveled in China and Honduras. There are 10 spindles in the construction of the shelves over the beds. You can now say, AWESOME.

A cold snap has slowed work. To fill the time I am sorting things into the places (I hope) that they will finally go. The bathroom has become a storage space. The new shelves help (for the meantime) to house items from the kitchen and office. Today, I signed up for “on-line banking” which should eventually help with so much paper work.

“SHINE, SHINE”, says the sun. So it is back to work.
More later. Grand Maverick


Packing stuff into small spaces is a challenge. The summer clothes I put into plastic grocery bags and stuffed them up over the cab. I made the beds 18 1/2″ off the floor so that one large plastic storage box and a small box would fit under. This was a brilliant idea until I discovered the wheel wells were in the middle of the area. So, the large boxes have been exchanged for smaller ones, even as small as show boxes. Yesterday, I went thru my photos and disposed of about 1/4th of a shoe box. Same for the out dated road maps.I think I will put the maps in quart fridge bags and store them in the passenger’s side door. Hopefully, I will have a fellow traveler whose job it will be to keep track of our progress {of lack of it}.

My cell phone just reminded me of a meeting in 1/2 hour. So this is all for now. More later.

Grand Maverick

Square Dowels

I found the square dowels. The ones I bought are about 3/8″ square. They work wonders as bumpers are the front of the shelves. I pre drill the holes first for the tiny screws. The round ones about the same size work will as tiny curtain rods for the windows. I fit them so tightly that I do not need screws. The curtain is a light weight lace so it works. I am now making an additional flannel curtain for the winter. I will put a layer of double bubble wrap against the glass, then the flannel with the lace showing to the room. It will be dark but warm.

The micro wave shelf is ready o mount It looks great..

More later. Grand Maverick

All Hallow’s Eve

Winter has warned us it is coming soon. I revved up the little heater last night and got a bit toasty and had to turn it down. Both shelves in the L/D/B room are now up with some stuff on them. They are very strong. We glued two sheets of 1/4″ ply together because one sheet had been stained & polyed. That gave is 1/2 ” .Then we put braces on the walls where the ribs of the vehicle are. We screwed every thing together. We even put some twine around so that when the glue set it would be in the correct place. We made a stripe for the front from 1×2 pieces with uprights at 17″ intervals. What is left to do: 1) screw the uprights to the ceiling, 2) cut and sew the ties that will go between the uprights so that stuff stays on the shelves and 3) screw in place the end pieces. This should not take much time.

Also, we have begun work on the microwave space. We found an older 3/4″ ply board in the shed. It had beautiful grain so we cut it to size and put 2 (some times 3) coats of poly on it. We put braces up also; one at the back and 2 from the side walls – pantry and office. This should keep it in place and at the correct height.

Tomorrow, I plan to go to Lowe’s to get some LED lights, screws and square dowels. I am finding the windows a bit drafty. So, I will make some winter window covers from a former bathrobe. This should do the trick.

More later. Grand Maverick…